Polish church reports recent clergy abuse of 368 children

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — In its latest report on the sexual abuse of minors, Poland’s Catholic Church says 292 clergymen allegedly abused 368 boys and girls from 2018 though 2020.

The report released Monday comes at a time when the Vatican is investigating reports of abuse and of a lack of reaction by church leaders in Poland, a predominantly Catholic nation where the clergy enjoy special esteem.

The Vatican recently punished a few Polish bishops and archbishops for negligence and barred them from church and lay ceremonies. The Holy See is also investigating reports of negligence by retired Krakow archbishop, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who before that served as personal secretary to the late pope, St. John Paul II.

At an online conference, the head of Poland’s Catholic Church, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, repeated his earlier apologies to the victims and asked their forgiveness.

Monsignor Adam Zak, in charge of tracking down and preventing cases of clergy abuse of minors, stressed the need for greater awareness and prevention because the number of recent reports remains high.

The church’s first report, for 1990-2018, listed cases of 382 clergymen having allegedly abused 625 minors. The names of 42 of the clergymen reappear in the latest report, compiled by the church statistical office from data from all dioceses.

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